In my last article, I told you about the Basics of Good Web Design which talks about what will bring people to your site and keep them there as well as what keeps them away. Today, I’ll go into more detail about what attracts people to YOU and what drives them to buy your product or service.
If you build it, they will come, right? Just put up any old website and customers will plunk down cash and buy everything you have. Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ve seen plenty of websites that look good enough to bring me in, but once I’m there, it all goes downhill. Here’s what I mean:
- Boxes, boxes everywhere. A jumble of misaligned and confusing shapes are difficult to navigate. Potential clients will exit, stage left.
- Sign-up forms that go on forever and bring all exploration of your site to a screeching halt. And all your customers really want is to check shipping rates so they can BUY something.
- Bad writing – your product could be great, but the devil is in the details. Misspellings, wordy descriptions, boring stories – they all say you’re not the expert you claim to be.
- Flashing logos, scrolling ads, bazillions of colors with animated cartoons – wow! Too many distractions and visitors forget why they’re there. And that means they forget to buy anything.
- Lost in space – how do your customers know if you carry a particular item? You may have meticulously displayed your best items, but what if they can’t easily search for exactly what they want?
So you get the idea; it’s tempting to spend thousands of dollars on do-dads and gizmos and not realize you’re driving your customers crazy. Instead, keep your home page simple and general with links to your inner pages where you pinpoint specific information on products, product reviews and all those things that make you shine. Always include links to your home page so it’s easy to for visitors to get back to the basics of who you are and what you offer.
Once you’ve brought your customers to your home page, then what? How do you convince the casual viewer that YOU are the best in your business and of course they should buy from you. Here are some proven ideas so there’s no doubt that you’re the boss:
- Focus like a laser on what’s important. Whatever you sell, make sure that product or service compels viewer attention. Colorfully professional and dynamic images of your wares in action. Videos. And once they’re convinced, make it a snap for them to buy at any time.
- Be the guru. Show the world why you’re the best by linking to articles or e-books you’ve written. Include any authoritative or scientific evidence that what you’re offering really is the best. And testimonials from happy clients explaining specifically what they like about you and your product. When you’re the “go-to” expert, customers will fall all over themselves recommending you to everyone.
- Be everywhere. Everyone knows what the big name-brands are because they advertise relentlessly. You likely don’t have their budget, but you can become an “SEO wizard”. Learn how to use key words in your website to make it easy for search engines to find you. Or make sure your web designer knows how to do this. Make it impossible for inquiring minds to miss you, and they’ll beat a path to your virtual door.
- Mobile strategy. Know your target audience. If they’re younger and use phones and tablets to surf the web, then you’ll make more money with a mobile version of your website.
- Follow up. When a visitor becomes a paying customer, let them know you appreciate it. Take the opportunity for an email with a thank-you and promotional offers or special “insider” deals.
- Be a thief. Browse your competitors’ websites and see what they do that you like. Incorporate good ideas into your own marketing program and it’s almost a guarantee that you will see an uptick in both traffic and sales.
So there you have it. Add some pizzazz without going overboard, be the expert, and make it easy for everyone to spend money at your site. Your business will hum along and your bottom line will thank you for it – along with all your new customers.
If you need assistance in analyzing your current site for design flaws or ways to improve, feel free to email me anytime and I would be happy to work with you.